Harmful Children’s Fairy Tales

Dr. Michael LaitmanIn the News (from Scientific American Blog): “Childrens’ literature and movies are rife with talking mice and ducks who wear clothes (even if they’re occasionally portrayed without pants) and dogs that range from, well, dogs, to dogs that might as well be people.

“Stories are one of the main ways that our species understands the natural world. Giving human attributes to animals is by no means a recent phenomenon; ancient gods were often hybridized human-like animals (or animal-like humans). In the classic story illustrated above by Arthur Rackham, three bears sit at a table and eat porridge, like humans.

“Given how ubiquitous these anthropomorphic animal-people are in our culture, University of Toronto psychologist Patricia A. Ganea wondered how those sorts of representations influence the way that young children think about real animals.

“Young children already have a hard time distinguishing reality from fantasy, especially before they reach their fifth birthday. And while most children can distinguish reality from fantasy when it comes to visual representations of animals, that distortion can also be reflected in the content of the story itself. ‘Human consciousness, knowledge, abilities, purpose, and intentions are often attributed to animal characters (e.g., seals solve mysteries, cats build houses, and mice drive cars) and even to inanimate objects (e.g., lamps have faces and dance the tango, trains strive against all odds to achieve impossible goals),’ Ganea writes.

“Together, the findings show that language matters more than illustration when it comes to learning about animals’ biology and psychology. Even when the stories were accompanied by realistic images, if the language was anthropomorphic, the kids transferred that false knowledge to real animals.

“More importantly, it isn’t just that the kids failed to learn true facts when exposed to the anthropomorphic stories; those stories actually made it harder for them to learn, teaching them falsehoods rather than facts. They were even more likely to think of animals in human-like terms after reading the books than if they had never seen the books at all!

“Do children transfer the fantastical abilities of non-human animals in their storybooks to their real life models? If so, then those sorts of stories could seriously impede kids’ ability to learn and remember true facts about real animals, or at least to distinguish fact from fiction. That would be especially true for children in urban and suburban areas, who have few opportunities to regularly interact with actual animals, at least compared to their rural counterparts. ‘Presenting animals to children in ways that are similar to how humans act and behave is likely to be counter-productive for learning scientifically accurate information about the biological world and to influence children’s view of the biological world,’ she says.

“The problem is actually more pervasive than it sounds: human adults, at least in the US, are also highly likely to imbue non-human animals with human-like emotions and motivations. It’s a tricky line to navigate. Research is increasingly revealing the fundamental similarities between our species and the rest of the animal kingdom, but there are also aspects of human culture that are, indeed, unique to our species. Is it reasonable to suggest that an animal can feel something complex like pride or embarrassment? We are poised to attribute a similarly complex emotion, guilt, to dogs, but a deeper look reveals that while dogs indeed have a ‘guilty look,’ they probably do not actually realize that they’ve transgressed. If children are routinely exposed to these sorts of anthropomorphic representations of animals, it is no wonder that they grow up to become adults who look at non-human animals as if they are people wearing animal suits.”

My Comment: By the way, in Judaism there are no tales of human-like animals, and if the Torah speaks about a talking donkey, it happens at God’s command. Kabbalah in general looks at the texts of the Torah as secret, the meaning of which is revealed only to one who has attained love of friends.

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Working Alone Keeps Us In Egypt

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: What stops a person most from coming out of Egypt?

Answer: A person forgets that we acquire spirituality by connecting. So this becomes the work in Egypt. If you work alone, you are called Pharaoh’s slave.

We should always check ourselves with regard to the group because there is no other scale we can use. We were given vessels, shattered deficiencies that are scattered among all of us since everyone is incorporated in everyone else. Therefore, we don’t understand what is happening. We need to start arranging ourselves in the group and to bring it to the form of a spiritual Partzuf.

It should be a form in which the upper force, the Creator, is revealed. This is all our work: building ten Sefirot, not nine and not eleven, no more no less. All of creation is made of ten Sefirot.

We have to find our place in the Partzuf, the place of those who want to connect in bestowal. This matches GE, the phase of Israel, and rest are AHP that join us and help us. How can we grow? We grow by the AHP, with its help. The bigger the AHP is, the bigger our part of the GE above it can be. Thus we build Aviut (thickness) in GE too, and then the work with the real AHP begins.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/16/14, Writings of Rabash

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Exodus Occurs In No Time At All

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: How can we determine the exact measure of the desire needed for a prayer? Perhaps a person who asks for bread has to go hungry for two weeks first, but a person who hasn’t eaten for three days may feel that this cry is the strongest it could be.

Answer: There is no standard measure. It’s a personal feeling that I cannot remain in this state any longer. Besides, we also need a prayer before the prayer because I cannot feel real hatred towards my Egypt and I want to experience the slavery so that I can really hate it. This is also a prayer because this hatred also comes from the Light that Reforms, and every prayer is meant to draw and bring the Light closer.

All these states are carried out very quickly. The Torah tells us a lot about what happens before coming to Egypt. Then there is the story about how the children of Israel entered Egypt, about the birth of Moses, about his escape and his life with Jethro. However the actual exodus is very fast, as if it takes no time. Therefore we only need to ask.

If the Light begins to work and a person is dominated by the Light, he immediately goes through states as if above time. We are very close to this and we can force the Light to operate.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/13/14, Writings of Rabash

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I Am There, Not Here

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Could it be that the outcry from the slavery in Egypt is not my own frustration but our common frustration?

Answer: Indeed, I begin to see myself as an integral man. I am not myself but my connection with others, the mutual incorporation. I make the decision that I is my connection with the group, that I am not here inside my body but there inside the group.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/02/14, Writings of Rabash

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I Brought You Part Of The Miracle

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: What should I do if I cannot persuade people and cannot give them an example when I go out to disseminate? There are many examples in our world of the harm that the connection between people has brought them instead of any good.

Answer: If we approach people from the center of the group, we bring them the Light that Reforms. You should understand that you are performing a spiritual act by that, you are bringing a person part of the miracle that can happen in his life. You bring him the initial connection and contact with the Light, and he will complete the rest.

This action should be more spiritual. I don’t try to persuade a person like a rag merchant or other goods. I bring him the end of the pipe of the spiritual channel, and when I speak to him I think about how I can bestow upon him and how I can make this pipe a more reliable, better, more focused, and more efficient conductor of the Light.

This is my goal and my aim and I am not responsible for anything else. After all, who am I? How can I convince a person? Where would I find such skills? Only one out of a thousand salespeople knows how to persuade others, and it isn’t persuasion either but a lie. This means that he knows how to confuse people. This is how it works in our world.

But we don’t even have these skills. We have no merchandise that we can sell, and there is nothing we can give a person except the end of the pipe from which the Light will pour. This is the Surrounding Light, which we don’t see or feel but which will operate in a person.

Each of us should feel that he is performing a spiritual action. I can only be a pipe if I am connected to the center of the group from which I take its spirit and go out to disseminate. When I come in contact with someone, I focus on the spiritual action and use my mind just a bit, and most importantly with the inner feeling. A person will sense this.

This is the actual outcome you need to discover as a result of your work. People don’t need your logical philosophizing; they need a sensation. If the Light operates in the feelings, a person will be with you.

The main war in dissemination is done that way. In order to be a loyal pipe for the Light, the main thing is not to forget that I am performing a spiritual action, pouring an infusing into a person so that he will understand the reason for all evil and what the remedy for all the problems is, and that it remains in him and will keep on working.

Try to touch his heart with your heart. If you speak to him when your heart is in it, then your heart will pour into his heart. And then you will see that people will follow you.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/13/14, Writings of Rabash

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Don’t Flee From The Work But From Yourself

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: What is the slavery of a person in Egypt?

Answer: He tries to connect with others and is slightly successful every time through some new test, but the fruits of this connection go to Pharaoh who sucks them out of the back of the neck. This means that the ego steals everything and keeps it inside for itself. A person feels that he has nothing. This is what happens with us.

And then, as it is said, (Job 20:15): “He swallowed up riches and vomited it out.” The power of the ego swallows the fruits of the labor and then spits in out vomits giving everything back to the person all at once.

Question: When will this finally happen?

Answer: When a sufficient amount of efforts that have been swallowed by the ego accumulate, it makes it possible for a person to rise to for the sake of bestowal. It is impossible to stockpile negative exertion, negative impressions, in any other way. You cannot work if they are all in front of you.

Even when a little is shown to you, you take account of what you have, this is bad and that is bad, and you flee immediately. And so you won’t run away but will continue to work, your disappointments disappear. This gives us the opportunity to continue by coming again and again to disappointment about our abilities.

As a result, the accumulated disappointment and consequently the need for the group must be so great that you cry out and want to leave. This doesn’t mean fleeing the work, but fleeing from your ego, from yourself!

There are several conditions that must ripen and accumulate. This is a cumulative process; nothing can be done about it. In order to help you with it, there is darkness and the absorption of your failures. And then you need to be inspired by the group, the study, and the teacher, and every day you need to get back up on your feet again.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/14/14, Writing of Rabash

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A Point That Leads Us Forward

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Why does it say: “Come to Pharaoh?” What is the meaning of a person’s participation in this act?

Answer: A person has to be ready for it. He has to be able to hold on as he encounters increasingly greater blows. Moses is our innermost point that begins to work when we can connect. It is the point of our inner connection that leads us.

The only thing we have to worry about is the point of connection, so that we can later raise it to Mt. Sinai and receive the whole revelation of Godliness in it. Then it will lead us forward from the center of the group where everyone is equal and we are all connected. We all annul ourselves with regard to this central point of the group and establish in it the vessel of the soul. This is actually the whole method.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/14/14, Writing of Rabash

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Make Your Choice

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: How can I advance if I need to reach a state where I don’t want the spiritual goal at all, but wish to remain in material life?

Answer: I must attain the state of the shattered Reshimo de Aviut.  I understand that I don’t want anything except remaining in a place that is comfortable for me. But together with this, there is a Reshimo de Hitlabshut in me, which is something from a level above this world.

On the one hand, I determine that I want to remain a beast. But together with this, I have a spiritual goal, a higher world, and I am suffering because I do not belong to it and remain on the level of this beast, and apart from that, I don’t need anything. I know that the beast will remain as such, and there is a higher level.

I really want to attain this higher level, and at the same time, according to the desire of my Aviut (thickness), I am only attracted to convenience and comfort, to remain in this dream. That is what my heart wants.

But the point in the heart calls to me to go out and attain spirituality. It’s impossible to understand how these two conflicting opposites are in me. What do I need to do if I am torn between both of them? What will determine my choice?
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/31/14, Writings of Baal HaSulam

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Towards The Purity Of Intention

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe Torah,  (Leviticus) “VaYikra,” 1:3: If his sacrifice is a burnt offering from cattle, an unblemished male he shall bring it.

“An unblemished male” is the attribute of complete bestowal because it must be true at every level of work, one must examine if the intention is really directed to bestow, if it doesn’t deviate to the direction of receiving.

After all, if we begin to receive in the intention to bestow, we will immediately find defects within ourselves and that we cannot object to the great incoming pleasure and are not able to give it.

Let’s suppose that you are poor and hungry, and you are to transport bags of gold or portions of food. How would you act? Would you be able to resist the temptation?

Of course, we understand that there are other desires and stimulations of our ego that are bigger. But it is not just food, hunger, or riches but huge envy and hatred towards the one you need to give to. Since you see that to your enemy who tortures you and to the people closest to you, you must do only good, without any kind of reward, and you must do so so that he won’t even know and will continue to hate you.

Question: It looks like the desire for the sake of bestowal with a defect is unsustainable?

Answer: It depends on which level. At every level there are requirements.

Question: Even at the corporeal level. For example, starving Africa is assisted with a large supply masses of goods, but it starves more and more.

Answer: So we provide, and they starve. Africa is the richest continent. If it had been developed, it would have been more successful than America today. There is everything there!

But in our providing it with cheap merchandise, we killed domestic production and agriculture, and transformed people into a generation of idlers, and that was it. And now we are teaching them to fight with each other.

The intention to bestow must be pure, and only then will it bring benefit.
From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 11/13/13

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Bring My Soul Out Of Trouble

Dr. Michael LaitmanPsalms 143: Answer me speedily, O LORD, my spirit faileth; hide not Thy face from me; lest I become like them that go down into the pit. Cause me to hear Thy loving kindness in the morning, for in Thee do I trust; cause me to know the way wherein I should walk, for unto Thee have I lifted up my soul. Deliver me from mine enemies, O LORD; with Thee have I hidden myself. Teach me to do Thy will, for Thou art my God; let Thy good spirit lead me in an even land. For Thy name’s sake, O LORD, quicken me; in Thy righteousness bring my soul out of trouble. And in Thy mercy cut off mine enemies, and destroy all them that harass my soul; for I am Thy servant.

Here we see that a person is on a level of faith above reason. Future redemption has to be achieved hastily, the way it happened on the corporeal branch of the spiritual root during the exodus from Egypt. The exodus is from a state where no one has no more hope of coming out of the current state, and suddenly it happens, as if at the most unsuitable moment!

Kabbalists have always concealed the connection between the wisdom of Kabbalah and the rule “love thy friend as thyself.” They didn’t want to tell ordinary people that everything depends on love, on connection, on dedication, and going out of myself towards others, on the perception of reality that is external to a person’s desire and above his ego. They understood that it would make people reject the wisdom of Kabbalah and the correction. An egoistic person cannot hear that he is obliged to work only in order to connect with others that he naturally disregards. A person thinks only of himself and cannot think about bestowal without any benefit for himself, which means that he cannot think about anyone unless he receives a reward for it.

If we speak to people about such love, they clearly will never come close to correction. So instead of the method of correction, Kabbalists instructed people to engage in certain corporeal actions for the time being, to keep the “commandments” that they have learned since childhood. A child is taught to behave this way from a very young age, so that he will grow and think that this is the Lord’s desire.

Therefore, there are always those who oppose the wisdom of Kabbalah. They understand that they will have to reach bestowal and love of others and achieve the connection between all the parts of the shattered soul in the future, but not now. There are no clear signs yet that the time has come on the part of the upper Providence, judging by the general state of the world and nation of Israel.

Indeed, it is only in the 20th century that we discover such signs, and the most important sign is that the Kabbalists are telling us that the time has come. But the closer we approach the revelation of the truth for everyone, the explanation of what the wisdom of Kabbalah really says and how it is actually fulfilled in practice through connection, the more repulsive people find it. It’s even hard for them to remember it. A person doesn’t instinctively yearn for connection. It isn’t the first thing he thinks about when he wakes up in the middle of the night or in the morning. So we are going to see how many people will join us and how many will fall along the way. It’s because an ordinary person doesn’t find this goal attractive.

Mysticism and abstruse theories use the knowledge of the wisdom of Kabbalah for foreseeing the future, for speaking about reincarnations, and about mysterious forces which attract the ordinary person, but the revelation of the Creator is the revelation of the attribute of bestowal. A person is ready for that if he is shown that there is some egoistic benefit in it, which means that he is ready to bestow in order to receive, but this must not be shown to a person until this occurs.

A person must not be told what brings the revelation of the upper force to the created beings. Baal HaSulam says: “Every individual in this world would cut off his hands and feet seven times a day in order to feel this taste one moment in his entire lifetime.” My translation: If a person were given this feeling, he would become addicted to it and would not be able to think about anything else anymore. So how will he be able to rise above reason and ever want to attain the attribute of bestowal? If he discovers the Light of Hochma first, the Light of Hassadim will not be able to correct him. There will be an even greater shattering than before. So three factors are required for a person’s correction:

  • The first factor is the root of the soul, the Reshimo (reminiscence).
  • The second factor is the Light that was once inside the Reshimo and wanted to fill it with the intention of in order to bestow, but disappeared from it, remaining in the form of the Surrounding Light. Now this Light illuminates from a distance waiting for the Reshimo that is in the desire to receive to get support from the desire to receive.
  • The desire to receive cannot support the Reshimo, since its intention is only in order to receive, but it can connect with other Reshimot, which are called points in the heart and be impressed by them. Thus, these Reshimot will connect and get closer to one another. The more Reshimot that are revealed, the more the points in the heart get closer to one another, and the more they will spur the Light that Reforms.

The Light that Reforms can be individual and general. The individual Light always supports and takes care of the Reshimo and gradually advances it. The general Light is evoked thanks to the Reshimot that get closer as a result of people’s actions and corrects them since the Reshimot are also shattered.

So there are three factors: the Reshimo, the Surrounding Light, and our attempts to connect, which means the unity that can be attained only through the bodies in our fictitious world. This is how we work, and the main thing is not to worry about the difficult states that we go through, especially right before the revelation. We don’t understand what advances us and what doesn’t, what is closer to spirituality and what isn’t. Usually things seem the exact opposite from what our minds and hearts perceive.
From the Preparation to the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/14/14

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